Death ‘should lead to others seeking help’

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A coroner has told how he hopes the tragic death of a father-of-five will encourage other men experiencing difficulties to seek help.

Paul Hughes was found dead at his home in South Shore by his partner of 17 years, after suffering with depression and alcohol problems.

An inquest into the death of the 44-year-old, of St Annes Road, heard his body was found hanged on December 8, 2014, by the mother of his children, Victoria Culshaw.

Hours earlier he had sent messages to her telling of his love for her and their children and his wish for them to have a happy Christmas.

Blackpool coroners court heard that while Mr Hughes spoke of feeling “unable to cope”, he had not sought medical help for his “severe depression”.

Assistant coroner Christopher Beverley said he hoped the tragic circumstances would encourage other men experiencing difficulties to not be afraid to seek help.

He added: “Five children have lost their father in terrible circumstances. It must have been devastating.

“I’m sure in happier times he was loving and caring to them, but when depression takes over it can make things terribly difficult. Depression is a very worrying illness.”

Mr Beverley told Ms Culshaw: “The way he expressed (in the messages) great affection for you and each of the children, the way he expressed his wish you should have a good Christmas, brings me to the conclusion that there was intention.”

The court heard a verdict that Mr Hughes had taken his own life.

Mr Hughes and Ms Culshaw had five children together, aged from one to 12-years-old.

The court heard Mr Hughes said “he loved and always would do”, in a series of text messages, but he added he “felt he was on his own”.

Mr Hughes then appeared to leave the property, as was usual, and the rest of the family went to bed. He was found in the garage at around 7am the next day.